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North Dakota rolls out online driver's permit test

Residents who pass the online driver's permit test still need to schedule an appointment to go into the department's local office and provide proper documentation before receiving a learner's permit.

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday, Dec. 1, that residents looking to get a driver's permit can take their road knowledge test online at home instead of doing so at one of the department's physical locations around the state.

The $10 online test — double the price of those taken in person — will offer rural residents an alternative to long trips to the department offices, said Brad Schaffer, the department's drivers license division director. Residents who pass the online test still need to schedule an appointment to go into the department's local office and provide proper documentation before receiving a learner's permit.

Taking the test online requires a computer with a mouse, keyboard and webcam, as well as a parent or guardian to proctor the test. The program can detect when a test-taker appears to be looking or clicking off-screen and will give warnings before ending the test if cheating is suspected.

Only about 45% of test-takers pass the permit test on the first try, so offering the online option will also cut down on repeat visits, Schaffer said. The test has been taken about 30,000 times this year.

The online testing option came out of legislation sponsored earlier this year by Mandan Republican Rep. Nathan Toman . Schaffer said about 10 states have rolled out a similar program to much success.

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The online permit test can be found at nd.knowtodrive.com .

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